Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 137, July 31, 2015
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2015 21:35:54 -0400
Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 137, July 31, 2015

In this issue:
*Bicentennial Musings
*New England Women and Their Families in the 18th and 19th Centuries: Personal Papers, Letters and Diaries
*Black Loyalist - A Website
*Technology Tip of the Month--Disabling Graphics Acceleration, aka Smooth Font Animation
*Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Archival Supplies Company Newsletter Explains Interleaving
*An Evening with Jennifer Teege--An Amazing Story of Family History Discovery
*Start a Family History Journey Summer Series--August Event
*Start Planning Time In October For Family History Month!
*Out & About
*Area Calendar of Events
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Queries for The Genealogy Center

Bicentennial Musings
by Curt B. Witcher
In recent weeks, I have had the pleasure of working with engaging, exciting, knowledgeable individuals on how best to celebrate Indiana’s bicentennial. Officially, Indiana will have a year-long celebration of two hundred years of statehood from mid-December 2015 to mid-December 2016. There will be many statewide activities; and appreciating that “all history is local,” there will be an amazing number of activities and celebrations in each of Indiana’s ninety-two counties. As you might expect, every time I am involved with celebrating history, my mind quickly turns to family history, and to celebrating the individuals and families who made that history. Like many of you, I wonder out loud about the millions of families that have contributed their work, their ideas, their writings and musings--their very lives--to this Crossroads-of-America state.

While the colonies were being settled and states were being established more than four hundred years ago on the eastern seaboard, First Nations peoples were living and trading in this area, and had been for many centuries. As the Revolutionary War was successfully fought for the Americans and a new country was born, missionaries, trappers, traders, and government agents were ever present in northeastern Indiana. Rolling through the decades from that time to the present, one cannot help but be in awe of the nearly innumerable families that have made countless contributions to this state, and de facto, to this country. From early French and German settlements to the Amish and Mennonite communities, from the Jewish and Polish settlers to those who came from the British Isles and beyond, the collective contributions are pervasive and impressive. The family stories of settlement, community, war, church and school, and being more successful than one's parents are found everywhere--in both the expected and unexpected places.

One of several marque statewide events for this upcoming bicentennial year is the Bicentennial Torch Relay. As stated by the Bicentennial Commission, “The Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay is designed to inspire and unify Hoosiers as one of the major commemorative events of the 2016 Bicentennial celebration. Hoosiers will . . . symbolically ‘pass the torch’ connecting generations . . .” Having a hand in planning the torch relay route through Allen County, Indiana, I am impressed all over again with the richness and long history of this part of the state.

Torch relays are filled with such rich symbolism. As I was assisting to plan an actual one, I wondered how we all do in figuratively passing the torch of our passion for, and interest in, doing family history to our descendants. Of course, that musing leads to wondering about how we are going to pass on our records and stories. What kinds of steps do we take to ensure there is a smooth handoff, to ensure the torch is not dropped? Many of us have at least several cubic feet of paper records, often much more. Is that paper organized in such a way that it can be successfully handed off? How many gigabytes of electronic data do we have, and how is that data accessed and archived? Is that hand-off to an interested descendant or a willing archive or library going to be smooth? How many legacy digital formats do you find in your electronic files? Can you even open all the digital files you have? We definitely need to be much more serious about keeping the torch alive.

At a recent bicentennial marketing meeting, so many of us kept commenting, “I didn’t know that!” when someone articulated an interesting fact about Indiana, such as the number of active wineries in this state, the number of agricultural products where Indiana is in the top three producers and providers, the diversity and number of ethnic groups that call this state home, the number and longevity of our colleges and universities, how important Indiana was, and continues to be, in the innovations and manufacturing necessary to a thriving automotive industry.

I just wonder how many times in our own genealogical research we would be saying, “Oh, I didn’t know that!” if we delved deeper and more consistently into the histories of the locales where we know or believe our ancestors lived? How much data that would advance our family history discoveries goes unnoticed because we don’t take the time to look for it--we don’t make the time to “do” the history? So often our research stumbling blocks, brick walls, and dead-ends could be successfully negotiated if we took the time to do more than a quick grab from an online database, or more fully appreciated that there is much more than vital records and census documents to our families’ histories. One can find out so much more about a particular family by investigating all the contexts in which that family lived--time period, ethnicity, religion, and occupation. We have written about this many times in the past yet so many choose to not to engage in this consequential strategy.

Whether you can trace family lines back to and through the Hoosier state, or if your ancestors came to Indiana and never left, and your family is still here today, 2016 is going to be an awesome time to be in Indiana. Among the many activities taking place, there will be some very worthwhile family history events. The Allen County Public Library and its Genealogy Center will be hosting the 2016 Indiana Genealogical Society Annual Meeting and Conference where one will find engaging speakers and worthwhile content April 15-16, 2016 in Fort Wayne. The Indiana Historical Society will be hosting another Midwestern Roots Family History Conference in Indianapolis July 14-16, 2016. The International Federation of Library Associations is holding their Genealogy & Local History Pre-conference in Fort Wayne on August 10, 2016. The Association of Professional Genealogists’ Professional Management Conference is being held at the Allen County Public Library on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, September 22-24, 2016. And, no, it really isn’t too soon to make plans to be “back home again in Indiana” in 2016. Mark some (or all!) of those dates on your calendar.

Plan to be a part of the Indiana Bicentennial celebration in your own unique way.

New England Women and Their Families in the 18th and 19th Centuries: Personal Papers, Letters and Diaries
by Cynthia Theusch
This collection of 185 microfilms showcases original manuscript material that is in the holdings of American Antiquarian Society, Newport Historical Society, and Rhode Island Historical Society. The set can be found in The Genealogy Center’s Microtext area in drawers 68-O-4 through 68-B-1.

From the Series B segment, I reviewed the diary of Georgie King, which was a gift from her father. The King family was living in Newport, Rhode Island in 1863. Throughout the diary are entries like this one:

“Wednesday December 23rd 1863 Pleasant
The days are so short now that we have scarcely any time. Our school ends today and we do not begin again until Tuesday 1864. Another year. I only went down street today after dinner or rather before. Christmas is coming and I suppose we shall have a jolly time. Mrs. Hunter has a party Christmas.”

This is a wonderful collection for providing historical context – to get an idea of what it was like when our ancestors lived. If you have New England ancestors, it’s possible you might even find a family or two who were in the area where your family lived, which can add depth to your personal family history.

The Genealogy Center also has the printed guides to this collection. See the call numbers, listed below. Each guide includes a table of contents describing the material on the reels of that series. The reel index includes the reel number, the title of the collection, the beginning frame number of the manuscript collection, an introduction to the collection, and brief information about what it may include of biographical and/or historical note. Each guide has alphabetical and subject indexes. 

Two examples of information from the guides: 

Series A – Part 1 contains the Sarah Osborn Papers, Foster Family Papers, Gill-Bullard Family Papers, James Briggs Smith Fiske Papers, Lizzie A. Wilson Goodenough and Lizzie Cora Goodenough Diaries, Trumbull Family Papers, Flint Family Papers, Gage Family Additional Papers, and Elizabeth Palmer Peabody Papers.
Reel 1 – Sarah Osborn Papers, 1743-1779 and Foster Family Papers, 1740-1854
Reels 2-10 – Foster Family Papers, 1740-1854

Series C – Part 1 contains the Congdon Family Papers, 1811-1952; Diman Family Papers, 1791-1954; Sarah B. (Mason) (Ruggles) Eaton Diaries, 1830-1856; Herreshoff-DeWolf Family Papers, 1854-1985; and Jeanie (Lippitt) Weeden Papers, 1882-1939.

Call numbers for the Guides to the Microfilm Collection of New England Women and Their Families in the 18th and 19th Centuries: Personal Papers, Letters and Diaries are:
*Series A – Part 1 (974 G9412 Pt. 1)
*Series A – Part 3 (974 G9412 Pt. 3)
*Series C – Part 2 (974 G9412 Pt. 2)

Online guides to Series A-Part 2, Series B, and Series C-Part 1 of the New England Women and Their Families in the 18th and 19th Centuries: Personal Papers, Letters and Diaries are:

Series A – Part 2 (
Series B – Part 1 (
Series B – Part 2 (
Series  C – Part 1 (

Black Loyalist - A Website
By Melissa C. Tennant
Between April and November 1783, more than three thousand African Americans, many of them slaves, sought refuge with the British, who were leaving the colonies onboard ships departing New York and bound for Nova Scotia, Bahamas, Jamaica, and England. These individuals were recorded in the “Book of Negroes,” which was created in compliance with the Treaty of Paris as documentation for United States citizens who filed claims against the British for lost property. The Black Loyalist website,, hosted by the University of Sydney, collects historical and biographical information relating to those individuals recorded in the “Book of Negroes.”

The site can be browsed or searched by the given name and/or surname of the individual, runaway slave or owner. The results include a brief description; a relationship chart that shows family, owners and sponsors; and a timeline with links to related transcriptions and/or digital documents, such as the digitized page from the “Book of Negroes.” Using this resource, one can link directly from a former slave to his/her family along with former slaveholder and his/her family.

For example, Lucy Shepperd, her husband, Thomas, and her daughters, Maria (aka Nancy) and Kessiah, have entries. Lucy’s relationship chart links her to 29 individuals, including her former owner, Robert Barron. Documents include a transcription of the 1778 “Tithables for Ferry Point to Great Bridge,” which lists Lucy as a slave; the 1784 “Birchtown Muster of Free Blacks;” and her entry in the “Book of Negroes.” During the evacuation, she was a 45-year-old stout wench, who boarded the ship L’Abondance, which sailed for Port Roseway. Lucy was a former slave of Robert Barron in Norfolk until she ran away five years before. Following this entry, more information on Robert Barron is provided, including documents about his family relations and his five runaway slaves who appear in the “Book of Negroes.”

The site has an abundance of source material such as “List of Blacks in Birchtown who Gave Their Names for Sierra Leone in November 1791,” Tithables, “Patriot Claims for Losses to the British, 1785,” and much more. Articles and other documents provide a background to the events and organizations relating to Black Loyalists, such as specific individuals and families, Methodists and Quakers, and significant military skirmishes.

The Black Loyalist website is a great start for anyone interested in the political and historical decisions that marked this time period and is a definitive resource for anyone descended from a Black Loyalist.

Technology Tip of the Month--Disabling Graphics Acceleration, aka Smooth Font Animation
by Kay Spears
So you are in Microsoft Word 2013, and you’re typing away. You notice that you are typing faster than the words are showing up on the page. “Well, that's irritating,” you think. Or maybe you are in Excel and you are going from one cell to another, and all of a sudden it feels like you might be using a slot machine in Las Vegas. All of these cute little gimmicks are part of what Microsoft calls “Graphic Acceleration.” I know, I know. Out there somewhere is a programmer who spent an awful lot of time writing the language that makes your font run across the page smoothly. I appreciate the cleverness. However, if there is a lag time between my hitting a key and the text appearing on the screen, I make mistakes. Roll up your sleeves – we are going to disable the feature created by the clever programmer.
When Microsoft first released this version, it included a way to disable this feature and all you had to do was go to File>Options>Advanced>Display>Disable Hardware Graphics Acceleration. But then Microsoft decided to fix the fix, and as of this writing, that fix doesn't work. Here is the work-around for a Windows computer. On your keyboard, there should be a key which looks like the Windows icon. Mine is located on the bottom row close to the space bar and it looks like a four paned window. Hold down this Windows key on your keyboard and press the letter “U” on your keyboard. This opens up a dialog box for the Control Panel. Go to “Use computer without a display,” and check the box “Turn off all unnecessary animations.” Click “Apply,” then “OK.” Close the dialog box. Your font animation should be disabled.
Next month: No More Skydrive.

Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Archival Supplies Company Newsletter Explains Interleaving
Knowing how to safely store heirlooms like clothing and textiles, as well as how to archive heritage photos, postcards, artwork, and other items can be confusing. Archival Methods, a company that features archival storage and presentation products, has a newsletter and video that address this topic and explain the difference in archival storage products and methods.
The newsletter covers the use of archival tissue, archival paper, polyester film, and translucent interweaving, and explains under what circumstances and with what kind of heirlooms each is appropriate. Read more here:

An Evening with Jennifer Teege--An Amazing Story of Family History Discovery
Jennifer Teege, who is of German and Nigerian descent, made a startling family discovery. Her grandfather was the Nazi war criminal Amon Goeth, the commandant of the Kraków-Płaszów Concentration Camp, and portrayed by actor Ralph Fiennes in Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning 1993 movie “Schindler’s List.” Teege has written about her family history journey in an internationally bestselling book, “My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me: A Black Woman Discovers Her Family’s Nazi Past.”

Come spend “An Evening with Jennifer Teege” on Monday, August 17, at 7 p.m., in the Theater of the Allen County Public Library, as she tells the engaging story of how she learned her family’s dark secret. The event is free and open to the public and Teege’s book, “My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me: A Black Woman Discovers Her Family’s Nazi Past,” will be available for purchase.

The event is sponsored by The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library, the Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies (IHGS) at Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne (IPFW), and the Congregation Achduth Vesholom. For more information, view the brochure at, or go to the IHGS Facebook Page at, or contact Steven Carr at Carr [at], or Curt Witcher at Cwitcher [at]

Start a Family History Journey Summer Series--August Event
Continue your family history journey with “Following Up With More Records” on Saturday, August 29, 2015, at 9:30 a.m. in Meeting Room A and discover how to use major record groups and how to let one record’s data lead you to still more sources of information. Presenter Curt Witcher will also provide an overview of military records as well as passenger and immigration records. The second half of the program will provide attendees with a “quick walk” through The Genealogy Center’s free databases – online resources that can provide meaningful next steps for family history research.

The series will conclude on Saturday, September 26, with “Beginners Guide to Genealogical Software.” Mark your calendars now to attend!

For more information, see the brochure at To register for these free events, call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info.

Start Planning Time In October For Family History Month!
Join us for a month of family history activities! With at least one activity each day, The Genealogy Center is planning a month full of events for everyone from beginning family historians to experienced researchers. From an evening of storytelling to classes on using The Center’s subscription databases, with side trips into DNA exploration, technology and writing family history, this is a month you don’t want to miss. Highlights of the month include one-on-one Consultations, Midnight Madness extended research hours on Friday, October 30, and a day-long workshop featuring Maureen Taylor, the Photo Detective, on Saturday, October 24. Check our website for the upcoming calendar!

Out & About
Curt Witcher
August 15, 2015
Carnegie Public Library of Steuben County 100th Birthday Celebration – a day-long genealogy seminar, 322 S. Wayne St., Angola, IN, 9:30-10:15 a.m. Presentation: “Native Americans/First Nations Research.”

Area Calendar of Events
Miami Indian Heritage Days
3 August 2015 – Chief Richardville House, 5705 Bluffton Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 1 to 4 p.m. Katrina Mitten, “Miami Beadwork.”

DAR Research Help
12 August 2015 – Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Mary Penrose Wayne Chapter of the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) is available to help prospective DAR members research their lineage to prove ancestry to an American Revolutionary Patriot.

Post Miamies: 1754-1763
29-30 August 2015 – The Old Fort, 1201 Spy Run Ave., Fort Wayne, Indiana. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.

Last Saturdays
29 August 2015 – History Center, 302 East Berry St., Fort Wayne, Indiana, noon to 5 p.m. Half-price admission.

Driving Directions to the Library
Wondering how to get to the library?  Our location is 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, Indiana, in the block bordered on the south by Washington Boulevard, the west by Ewing Street, the north by Wayne Street, and the east by the Library Plaza, formerly Webster Street.  We would enjoy having you visit the Genealogy Center.

To get directions from your exact location to 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, Indiana, visit this link at MapQuest:

>From the South
Exit Interstate 69 at exit 102.  Drive east on Jefferson Boulevard into downtown. Turn left on Ewing Street. The Library is one block north, at Ewing Street and Washington Boulevard.

Using US 27:
US 27 turns into Lafayette Street. Drive north into downtown. Turn left at Washington Boulevard and go five blocks. The Library will be on the right.

>From the North
Exit Interstate 69 at exit 112.  Drive south on Coldwater Road, which merges into Clinton Street.  Continue south on Clinton to Washington Boulevard. Turn right on Washington and go three blocks. The Library will be on the right.

>From the West
Using US 30:
Drive into town on US 30.  US 30 turns into Goshen Ave. which dead-ends at West State Blvd.  Make an angled left turn onto West State Blvd.  Turn right on Wells Street.  Go south on Wells to Wayne Street.  Turn left on Wayne Street.  The Library will be in the second block on the right.

Using US 24:
After crossing under Interstate 69, follow the same directions as from the South.

>From the East
Follow US 30/then 930 into and through New Haven, under an overpass into downtown Fort Wayne.  You will be on Washington Blvd. when you get into downtown.  Library Plaza will be on the right.

Parking at the Library
At the Library, underground parking can be accessed from Wayne Street. Other library parking lots are at Washington and Webster, and Wayne and Webster. Hourly parking is $1 per hour with a $7 maximum. ACPL library card holders may use their cards to validate the parking ticket at the west end of the Great Hall of the Library. Out of county residents may purchase a subscription card with proof of identification and residence. The current fee for an Individual Subscription Card is $70.

Public lots are located at the corner of Ewing and Wayne Streets ($1 each for the first two half-hours, $1 per hour after, with a $4 per day maximum) and the corner of Jefferson Boulevard and Harrison Street ($3 per day).

Street (metered) parking on Ewing and Wayne Streets. On the street you plug the meters 8am – 5pm, weekdays only.  It is free to park on the street after 5pm and on the weekends.

Visitor center/Grand Wayne Center garage at Washington and Clinton Streets. This is the Hilton Hotel parking lot that also serves as a day parking garage.  For hourly parking, 7am – 11 pm, charges are .50 for the first 45 minutes, then $1.00 per hour.  There is a flat $2.00 fee between 5pm and 11pm.

Genealogy Center Queries
The Genealogy Center hopes you find this newsletter interesting.  Thank you for subscribing.  We cannot, however, answer personal research emails written to the e-zine address.  The department houses a Research Center that makes photocopies and conducts research for a fee. 

If you have a general question about our collection, or are interested in the Research Center, please telephone the library and speak to a librarian who will be glad to answer your general questions or send you a research center form.  Our telephone number is 260-421-1225.  If you’d like to email a general information question about the department, please email: Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info.

Publishing Note: 
This electronic newsletter is published by the Allen County Public Library's Genealogy Center, and is intended to enlighten readers about genealogical research methods as well as inform them about the vast resources of the Allen County Public Library.  We welcome the wide distribution of this newsletter and encourage readers to forward it to their friends and societies.  All precautions have been made to avoid errors.  However, the publisher does not assume any liability to any party for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions, no matter the cause. 

To subscribe to “Genealogy Gems,” simply use your browser to go to the website: Scroll to the bottom, click on E-zine, and fill out the form. You will be notified with a confirmation email.

If you do not want to receive this e-zine, please follow the link at the very bottom of the issue of Genealogy Gems you just received or send an email to kspears [at] with "unsubscribe e-zine" in the subject line.

Dawne Slater, CG & Curt Witcher, co-editors

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